Friday 2 March 2012

So what did you do on St. David's Day?

So what did you do on St. David’s Day?

We had a fun-filled, action-packed day. I woke full of enthusiasm for the day ahead. Actually, that’s not true – I never feel like that in the mornings. I’m not a morning person. Annoyingly, Barry is. He’s very chipper from the moment he wakes and still, after four decades, attempts to engage me in conversation first thing. Two of the daughters are larks like him. Gillian is ready to talk as soon as she gets out of bed. Susannah gets up ridiculously early – half-way through the night, really – and is busy and bright all day until she’s exhausted and ready for bed by six o’clock eight o’clock nine o’clock. The son and the other daughter are more like me. Gareth’s approachable but quiet. Bethan has warning signs all over her. She’s polite but don’t push your luck.
As for me I’ve learnt that if I chatter and smile too early in the day I’ll end up in a bad mood. I’m an owl. That’s to say, I used to be an owl, able and happy to stay up half the night. Things changed when the babies came along. What a silly expression that is – ‘when the babies came along.’ It sounds as though they had free will in the matter and trotted into my life as and when the mood took them. What’s that? Gooseberry bushes and storks? Really? You believe all that? Tsk!
These days I’m more of a half-past-two-in-the-afternoon sort of person. I build up to that pinnacle which lasts about an hour and then experience a rapid decline. Then I sleep. At least, I try to sleep. I’m a light sleeper and the smallest sound wakes me. My theory is that I’m alert all night because of the training I received at the hands of the crying babies who became comfort-seeking infants and then trying teenagers. Some days one teenager would be getting up in the morning as another came through the door to go to bed. Barry slept through all of that. I don’t mean he was Rip Van Winkle, just that as a young officer he acquired the knack of sleeping through anything. Army training, eh? Bit worrying, though - if these army types can ignore disturbances how do they know when it would be advisable to wake up and do something? Does part of the brain listen out for stealthy footsteps or differentiate between the insistent cry of a toddler and the approach of a rioting crowd?
Anyway, last night the dogs were restless. Bertie’s tummy was gurgling and whistling and the last time that happened, a couple of weeks ago, he made a hasty and unsuccessful attempt to vacate the house. Instead he vacated himself on the stairs, poor boy, at two thirty in the morning. So, while I was cleaning and disinfecting the stairs Barry and the other animals – no, let me rephrase that, the rest of the animals and Barry - snored through it. That night I didn’t get back to sleep until dawn.
As it turned out Bertie was fine. Frodo was bumbling round and somehow got tangled up in the chair that serves as my bedside table (!! that’s another story!!) and knocked it over. Barry snored!

 It was foggy in the morning but gradually the sun burnt through and it was a lovely day, perfect for a bracing walk with the dogs. I intended to go in the gym and also have a swim. At one o’clock the washing machine and tumble dryer switched on. At the same time the pond pumps came on. A couple of minutes later the internet went down and half the electricity in the house cut out. That’s when we discovered the meaning behind ‘emergency cover’ and that our insurance didn’t cover us because we still had some electricity. We also discovered that the main switch for the electricity was locked on and we could no longer shut off the power.
The electrician who came admitted that he came into the house full of optimism that a solution to the problem would soon be found. An hour later he was less hopeful. Two hours on he was wishing he was a plumber! He checked all the sockets in the house – oh, the shame of it! If I’d known every nook and cranny was going to be investigated I’d have vacuumed every corner and washed all the paintwork and put away all the piles of (Barry’s) stuff.

Eventually, Dave-the-Electrician located the problem in a forgotten and unused socket in the dining room. Sawing noises ensued as the floor was opened to reveal sixty-year-old wiring that had seen better days.  By the time he left, around six o’clock, the dogs were tired from the unusual activity and we called it a day and had supper early.

It was an interesting start to the month. In the summer we’ll have the wiring replaced in the old part of the house. That will be fun!


  1. I love the description of everyone's morning mood. I'm pretty chipper in the morning and so is hubby but no one else is. Too bad about the electricity and your day being ruined. :(

  2. I'm like you in the morning, Janice. I don't want to talk to anyone for at least an hour, preferably two—although of course I feed the dog and talk to her.
    I've always been an owl, too.
    I don't envy you your electrical woes. Someone just asked me today how old this house is, and parts of it are easily 60 years old, so some of our wiring probably is, too. Not ancient by British standards, but old enough to give me pause after reading your horror story.
    The good electrical news is, I discovered an unused electrical outlet when the recycling cabinet got moved out this afternoon. The bad news is, the new cabinet covers it again.

  3. I'm definitely a night owl -- much to my husband's disgust. He's a follower of "Early to bed and early to rise..." My oldest son however laughs and says, "Oh, I'm SO not adopted!" He likes to sleep until noon and work until 2:00 am.

  4. Well, St. David is a new saint to me, and I have never heard of St. David's Day; but you certainly DID have quite an eventful one. Wouldn't have been my choice of how to spend a day. As for early bird or night owl, I am more an early bird!! It's night here now, and I am tempted to go to bed VERY early so that (with a blizzard going on outside) I can avoid a later trip out with dogs, who do NOT like the wind and snow. (Not that I do.)

  5. for St Davids day i was in Peru for my sins, but it was great to see your daff pics, so many thanks.

  6. Loving your pictures!

    I had a friend that was a "after the second coffee please" kind of person. My kids are complete opposites in the mornings too. And don't you just seethe in quiet wonderment how people can snore through your busy night schedule!!

    Have a lovely week.

  7. I was an owl. More and more I'm discovering I'm more of a sloth.

    I wanted to say "wombat", but I know nothing of them...

    I live in a house almost 110 years old. I hate to think of the wiring.


  8. i truly got lost in your post as if I were reading a good book. Had to laugh at the "officer able to sleep" bit. I have always been a light sleeper too. Motherhood has a lot to do with it, absolutely.

  9. I'm a morning lark and am exhausted by 8 pm.

    Wonderful shots of the daffodils - looks like spring is there already.

  10. I'm a morning lark and am exhausted by 8 pm.

    Wonderful shots of the daffodils - looks like spring is there already.

  11. Like you, I'm not at my best early in the morning. I'm not at my best late at night either. And frankly, I'm not even at my best in the afternoon. Actually, come to think of it... am I ever?

    Anyhoo, I'm sure the rewiring of part of your house should be fun indeed. I wouldn't bother vacuuming until everything is done, tested, working and the last workman has left the house ;-)

  12. I don't know St. David's Day, but apparently it was nice. I was a night owl when I was young but now I am getting up with the chickens ! I didn't like talking in the morning, now I am a chatterbox when I get up. Poor Mr. G ! The weather is wonderful and I have a great time with my friend and her husband ! I write a kind of diary on my blog.

  13. Lovely post - St Davids Day also happens to be my birthday so its a special day for me. I always love it when there are daffodils out on this day ... luckily there are a few flowering on the balcony.

    Love this post. I love getting up early - but don't really like talking for the first few hours.

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  15. Lovely daffodils! :)
    Sorry to hear about the electrical issues. I live in an old house and if you happen to plug in the toaster and the kettle in the same socket... forget it.
    Hope you have a great week!

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  17. Hi Janice .. is there such a thing as March 1st? My calendar doesn't go beyond 29th February!!

    I used to be a morning person and keep saying to myself I must get up early - trouble is the bed is comfortable in the mornings ... and I struggle up around 7.00 am ...

    Great story line - so pleased that eventually the problem was solved - though expensive and future expensive and dirty .. oh well good excuse the clear the cobwebs ready for the man invasion with tools and wire?!

    Love your St David's post and pics .. cheers Hilary

  18. Oh dear! I'm so sorry for all the hassles you're having to deal with. I'm glad you've got such gorgeous daffodils to keep your spirits up.

  19. Sorry to hear about the electrical problems. We have an older house too and have had to do a few repairs along those lines.

    I'm a night owl but fortunately my hubby is not a chipper morning person. Love all those beautiful daffodils.


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